John had been in sales for 20 years, he had serviced the same accounts for the last 10 years … he had two key accounts that generated 80% of his target revenue and he could always bet on winning the lion’s share of business from both accounts.
Mary had been in sales for 5 years, had two accounts that just loved her … she serviced them so well that she “owned” those accounts and she was close to becoming the top performing salesperson in her company.
For John it was the recession … both of his key accounts suffered greatly, his key contacts were caught in the layoffs and part of his book of business was off-shored to a cheaper solution. Coming out of the recession he was starting from scratch.
For Mary it was the boom in the social media world, that saw both of her “plum” accounts bought within a year, and her contacts caught in the “economies of scale” that resulted. She is not going to be top salesperson any time soon!
“Too many eggs in one basket”.
“Stuck in a rut”
There are many ways to describe the situation that Mary and John found themselves but really, it is a classic scenario. Most salespeople get themselves into a comfortable situation and stop doing the things that got them there … hard work and pushing themselves outside their comfort zone.
It is tough establishing new relationships. It is tough getting into new accounts. It is always much easier to spend time in your comfort zone.
However … your comfort zone will have a shelf life … and chances are you will have no idea how long (or short) that is!
Hence the need to diversify, to push yourself into new territory … to always be working on the “next one”.
Are YOU stuck in a rut? NOW is a good time to do something about it … BEFORE you are FORCED to do something!!!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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